2014.11.19 - The Reward For Being Gifted

Rev. C. Jarrod Lies - Thu, Nov 20

Runtime: 00:06:44

Sermon Transcript

Gospel Mathew 25:14-30
Jesus told his disciples this parable
"A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master's money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
'Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
'Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"

You are gifted people. The privilege of gift is responsibility. Isn't it interesting how the reward of the one who had 10 coins was to get 10 cities; and the one with 5 coins was to get 5 cities. But the one who was afraid and berried his talent in the dirt, was actually thrown out of the Kingdom? Then the one who had the 10 cities got another city.
You are gifted people. It is actually kind of awkward to say this but the reward of being gifted is responsibility. The reason why I say this is awkward is because there are a lot of people out there who take on a lot of responsibilities. Whenever they take on a lot of responsibilities do you know what happens? More people ask more of them. It’s kind of like, “Wait a second I am already doing a lot why are you asking more of me?” Then these persons who are doing a lot look around at other people who are not doing anything and say, "Well, go ask that person." The funny thing is, is that a person who is not using there gifts is not trustworthy.

The joy of being gifted is actually using your gift. This is the whole reason why playing a sport is enjoyable. A person plays a sport because they excel at that sport. Other people cheer that athlete on the more they excel. We extoll these people because they are using their gift. However that gift is a huge responsibility. Take basketball, for example, with the season just starting. If there is a star athlete on the basketball team, that athlete without anybody cheering him or her on put the effort into getting that good. Keep in mind, the number of hours that they were by themselves or with only with a select group of people practicing, hurting, sweating and waking up with an achy body far outweighs the number of hours that they are actually playing in front of people who are cheering them on.

So many times in our life, we get frustrated when we have responsibilities, as if Mom and Dad are somehow being unfair when they give me chores. Or as if they are being unfair because I have to be responsible for my homework or I need to be responsible for a certain amount of money. As if responsibility is a punishment! But the Gospel and the Christian attitude is just the opposite: responsibility is a reward!
We ourselves, in our own culture, rejoice in other people’s giftedness. So I am asking you to rejoice in YOUR giftedness! It is possible for you to be like the servant today who had one talent and out of fear did nothing with it. That is a Christian who does not follow God's call to live your life the way He wants you to, whatever that might be.

Now this called could concern the big things, like vocations. There are some of you in here who are called to be a priest some of you in here are called to be nuns. I am excited to think that in 10 to 15 years from now one of you young men who is in this room could be a brother priest with me. I am excited to think that in 10-15 years from now I could be at one of you young ladies’ consecration. That will be an awesome day for me! I am experiencing that now with students I had at Bishop Carroll: Some of them are getting ordained and others are going into the convent. That is really meaningful to me! Do you realize some of you might be there one day? You are gifted and God may be calling you to share your gift in the celibate life.
I am equally excited for you who may be called to the married state. To be gifted with the responsibilities of raising a human life is great. However do not pay attention to this world’s understanding of marriage because it’s stupid! This world thinks marriage is there for convenience, shared finances, and shared luxury. No! Marriage is there for the love of your spouse: so that you can die for your spouse and so that you can raise holy, healthy children. If you are getting married for any other reason than the love of your spouse or raising holy children don’t get married! You are going to do society a disfavor if you do not engage in marriage the way it is supposed to be done.

Now some of you are called to marriage, to that gift of self in which you are able to raise children and educate them in the person of Jesus Christ. Do you realize that if you become a parent in your hands is your responsibility: to give that child every possibility of getting to heaven? The gift of a child is simultaneouly the responsibility of giving that child the possibility of getting to heaven. I say, “to give the child the possibility of entering heaven,” because at some point in time that responsibility, when that child becomes an adult, they will make decisions according to their own free will. But your job as a parent will be to be responsible to raise them with the abilities to get there.
Using your gifts can not only answer the big questions about your vocation but also what you need to do for a career. Each of you have different talents: some of you are mathematical, some of you are scientific, some of you are interpersonal. Some of you are very mechanically minded so you can become a carpenter or a plumber. (My family comes from plumbers.) Some of you are going to be able to be a speaker or a teacher or a nurse because you have an incredible ability to understand the human body. God also calls you to use those gifts.
Do not waste your gifts! There are many people who are playing video games or wasting time to the detriment of their talents. Don’t be one of those people. God has gifted you and the reward of gift is responsibility. If you are now angry at your parents or at your teachers or at anybody because they are asking you to be responsible for something, check your attitude. If you’re being responsible for anything at all that is actually a complement that you are trustworthy.

There is a little sign that I have seen when I was growing up. It’s a face of a little baby and it's all scrunched up and underneath it says, "God don’t make no junk!" You were created with gifts and God expects a return on your gifts. The reward of your gifts is responsibility: He gives you ten coins so that you can give Him 20 and He will give you ten cities; He gives you 5 coins so that you can give him 5 and He will give you 5 cities. He gives you talents so that you can return them and he will give you the reward of your talents; with the ultimate reward being the salvation of your soul.

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